This discussion originated in a conference call around the Humanity 4.0 slideshow. The call was hosted by FourYears.Go.  It continued in a series of incredibly rich emails among participants, and I thought I’d move it here in the hope of sharing what we’re learning and inviting others into the conversation.

Recently, several people have asked whether I thought the term “self-organizing” was more appropriate than “self-integrating” (the term used in Humanity 4.0 to describe the role or activity of life within a living system).

“Self-organizing” is certainly more familiar and easier to grasp immediately. And it’s a term that I use in addition to “self-integrating,” though not interchangeably. To me, the concept of integration is key. The word “integrate” comes from ’intus-gerere’, which means ’to generate inside.’ A living system doesn’t simply _organize_ all its component parts. It _integrates_ them into an emergent whole, with properties of its own that can’t be understood by looking only at the behavior of the parts. It creates a new form of life from the parts, without abandoning their “partness.”

My sense is that this is an important paradox for us to grasp at this stage in human evolution: we can _be_ the convergent whole (of a family, or a community, or all humanity) without losing our divergent voice. I’m not sure that this point comes through clearly if we talk only of self-organizing.

What are your thoughts about this?

Recent Posts

The Annual Gener(ation)al Meeting

The Annual Gener(ation)al Meeting

What if the legally required AGM becomes not an Annual General Meeting but an Annual Generational Meeting, considering generations past, present and future? What if it evolves to serve generations of humans and of all living beings, as kin within the living ecologies...

read more
Share This